We own a cross lease property which we have been told has a defective title due to the flats plan not being updated when

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Customer: Hi, we own a cross lease property which we have been told has a defective title due to the flats plan not being updated when a garage was added by the previous owner. However I keep finding conflicting advice - some I have read says that if the structure isn't attached to the main dwelling, it isn't a problem as long as the neighbours have given consent. While there's no record of this consent on our title, the garage is standalone. Just wondering if the flats plan definitely needs to be updated or not?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No steps or paper work so far
JA: Where is the flat located?
Customer: Nelson, New Zealand
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Perhaps just that there are 2 units on the title
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 30 mins 1 year ago
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

Customer
OK
Customer
Can't afford phone call, thanks anyway
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Dont worry about the phone call-more details are just comin

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

There are several aspects to this including whether the neighbour gave consent, but also whether the garage is on separate property or on joint property. It doesn't make the garage illegal, but it can cause problems when you sell, if the new owner insists that the garage is shown on the title, which does happen occasionally. You may need to prepare an amended flats plan showing the garage to ensure there are no problems but that will cost some money for the survey and the neighbour will need to consent.

Customer
Thank you for that. The garage is on our area of the property but I was hoping that because it is standalone and not in an area subject to restrictive covenants that it might be OK to not update the flats plan. Good to know. Just one other question - what sort of buildings can be placed without needing to be included on the flats plan, e.g. could small sleepouts or transportable buildings such as tiny houses be left off? Just considering removing the garage and replacing it with something which is OK, to avoid the cost of updating the flats plan or perhaps getting a lower price when we come to sell the house. As we were wanting to convert the garage to a dwelling anyway
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

A transportable building would be permissible, although you may need to check the cross lease to see if that is not allowed. If you wanted to convert the garage to a sleepout you would need to get it included in the flats plan however

Customer
Thank you, ***** ***** garden sheds or sleep outs? It's unclear what is OK to be left off the flats plan and what is not- does it depend what they're being used for or whether they are plumbed and wired for living in etc? Or is it more to do with size?
So to find out more details about conditions do i need to contact my lawyer? Or should all the info be included on the title paper work and flats plan we obtained when we purchased? There's not much on there to clarify anything, I must say I can see why the previous owners probably thought they didn't need to update anything!
Customer
Sorry you did answer already about if we wanted to convert the garage to a sleepout (we'd need to include it in the flats plan) but does this still apply to smaller sleep outs which are small and just like a wooden garden shed type thing? It seems quite restrictive :/
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Garden sheds would not need a permit or permission provided they are portable and there is nothing in the cross lease prohibiting sheds

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